Philips Healthcare Informatics is expanding its Belfast operation in a move that will create 30 jobs and deliver over £1m sterling in additional wages and salaries to the local economy.
Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI) has offered £420,000 sterling of support towards the expansion, which will help the company take advantage of business in the US and Europe for its core products. This new investment will create 30 graduate level jobs bringing employment to 49.
The announcement follows Northern Ireland Minister Arlene Foster’s recent visit to the parent company, Royal Philips Electronics Group, in the Netherlands during an Invest NI trade mission in February.
“This expansion project demonstrates the confidence that this blue-chip multinational group has in its Belfast operation and in the local skills base,” Foster said.
“ICT is a key growth sector for Northern Ireland, and the availability of highly skilled IT professionals here has attracted many high-profile companies that continue to reinvest.
“The creation of these high-value specialist jobs shows that, even in an economic downturn, businesses that are focused on innovation and niche product development can continue to grow,” Minister Foster added.
Philips Healthcare Informatics has had a presence in Northern Ireland since it acquired Belfast software company, Tomcat Clinical Systems, in April 2008.
The company’s core product is its Cardiovascular Information System (CVIS), a computerised system that manages a hospital’s clinical and administrative records for heart patients.
Used by a significant number of large hospitals, including St Thomas’ Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, the system has long been the market leader in the UK and Ireland, and is now being sold in international markets.
“We have achieved sales growth of around 30pc a year over the past five years and anticipate further substantial growth in the next few years as we export our products to new international markets through the extensive Philips distribution channels,” said Stephen Gunning, general manager of Philips Healthcare Informatics in Belfast.
“Despite being a small operation within the Royal Philips Electronics Group, we have much to offer in terms of R&D expertise and the development of niche IT products. This investment recognises the significant potential of the Belfast operation to further develop its contribution to the group’s overall success.”
By John Kennedy